Even in our sleep, pain that cannot forget falls drop by
drop upon the heart and in our own despair, against our will,
comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.
There is secret medicine given only to those who hurt so bad they can’t hope.
Accept the pain as part of the mystery of life and learn how to grieve so that the suffering would crack us open enough for tendrils of grace to twine around the moments and events we could not control.
There’s a stillness to grief; to all suffering really. A muted silence, as the world fades into the background and you at last open yourself up to what’s impossible to avoid or prevent. It’s like a softly falling rain that never ends. I’d spent years resisting it, trying anything not to go ‘there’. So afraid that I might be overwhelmed and never find my way back. Finally, I realized that there was no avoiding it. Heartache, suffering of any kind, simply cannot go unacknowledged. It’s too profound, too life changing. I could see at last that no matter how I’d tried to ignore or distract myself from what was happening, it had always been there, within me, coloring all my days, altering me, in spite of all my efforts to hold true. With that realization, I finally found the courage to sit with my pain. To let it be what it was, to take me where it would. And it was overwhelming, and terrifying, and endless, but eventually, at the center of it, there was also this moment of peace, an unexpected grace that emptied me out and filled me up, all at the same time. And I could see, really see, that it was only pain, only suffering. And while it had often felt unbearable, it had also opened my heart in a way that nothing else ever could. It had worn smooth all the jagged edges and made tender even the most uninhabitable parts of who I was.